Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Day To Celebrate

Today, X-man had a series of awesome.

The first is the math he loved doing after school today with the Mathman. X-man is learning division. Check it out. His handwriting (the top numbers) looks pretty lovely, too. It's funny. There are days where he has bad days, and he just can't get himself together to make it to soccer, but he's always happy to go see Mr. Cohen. And I like that. He's like a little math sponge, and he likes it that way. There's no agenda when he goes, just to learn and enjoy it.


The second excitement today was that X-man reached 50 "Terrific Notes." He missed five days of school when we went to Maine in August, so he didn't get those, and he got too many tally marks (you have to have less than five to have a terrific note) on three other days. I was very proud of his work, so I made him a big yellow star to post with it. X-man does his chores around the house with the idea of getting allowance. But I did tell him at the beginning of the year when he brought his first note home, that if he got to 50 notes, he could pick out something special from the Toy Store. So tomorrow after seeing the behavioral therapist, we'll head up to north. I suspect it will take a while for him to pick something out (so many toys under a limited dollar constraint is hard work when you're 6 -- especially if you divide it up between two or three items and your Mother makes you work the money math!), so we're going to eat dinner up there, too. Then I'll take the notes down, and we'll start all over. 



The "oooh aaah" Wednesday item is that X-man's teachers gave him a new anxiety chart today. The theory is that he feels from a 0 to 3. A 0 means he's pretty happy and something good is happening. A 1 is that he got a tally or someone bumped him or did something that was annoying or bothersome. A 2 is when someone makes fun of him or he gets privileges revoked for making poor choices. This is when he starts to escalate. And a 3 is when he's really hurt, bleeding or being bullied. The chart gives him a sense of how his day is really going. It also requires him to tally what is happening emotionally and when so that he knows when he's escalating and can use some of the calming techniques we've taught him from April. (We sent his spinner and breathing card to school in case the teachers wanted to use it.) The idea being that by being responsible for his chart, he'll be able to communicate better what he's feeling before his feelings get the best of him.


This is what the chart looks like. You'll see that he wasn't hurt or bullied today (hooray) but that even though MANY good things happened, the number of annoying or frustrating feelings he had through the day was pretty much double the good things. I asked about some of the things that happened in the 2 level. Three of them were people making fun of him. I asked him if he missed activities. He said no,  but he said other problems that made him feel really sad and frustrated (everyone talking in class out of turn, someone purposely stepping on his foot, not feeling listened to, etc.). It helped him though because he came home today with one of those special pencils that he missed out on yesterday and had no tallies. Hooray!

The last item has nothing to do with X-man, but it had to do with my mail today. I would like to issue an apology to the trees of the world. I know it's Christmas time, but it took two hands to carry my mail into the house today, and many catalogs (Zingerman's I mean you!) are going straight into the recycling pile. 




7 comments:

~rachel~ said...

What kind of math do they do in his class? Does he get bored with it? Rowan loves math and at home he's always doing much harder addition problems ( the ones at school are still really simple) and multiplication - he wants to learn division but I told him he needed to know multiplication a little more ( maybe that doesn't matter?). His teacher commented on how ahead he is and great at mental math ( I totally credit the Singapore math we did last year! :)). But I worry that the further ahead he gets at home he'll be bored at school... Thoughts?

Looseyfur said...

They do Every Day Math at his school. There's lots of talking about and using measurement tools, counting money, common every day use stuff like that. He brings math homework home pretty much every day and we're done in a matter of minutes. He's at grade-level according to his teachers, but what's important to me is that he enjoys it. Math and Science are his favorite subjects. He likes to explore, but gets tired of worksheets and busy work. You should have seen his brain explode when we gave him addition problems at dinner this summer that were adding hundreds. He had some difficulty carrying the 1s over, but he was getting it when we did things like 33+48, but 345+562 totally freaked him out in a good way. He was all "Oh Wow!" So I think going to visit Mr. Cohen not only helps him do something he likes in a whole different way than what's in the class, but he can take math a step further. His face scrunched up in curiosity when Mr. Cohen first introduced him to algebra. He had this "what are those letters doing in my math?" look on his face. It was priceless. I think it's also comforting, though... Math continues and endures and has rules and solutions. It's not subjective.

Looseyfur said...

Oooh, you asked for thoughts. CB has an after school math club one day a week. We had signed up for Mathman before they started it, so X-man doesn't go but I think Bubba does. Does Rowan's school have after school clubs? But I think just finding different avenues to explore math is fun. Taking MacTroll's measuring tape to the park was a giant success over the summer, counting french fries, multiplying goldfish, math-based games, etc. We just eat it up around here.

~rachel~ said...

Yes! Rowan is the same way! I always liked math so I'm glad. If we ever actually move I want to look into the STEM school for him. He's always making charts and grids too. I don't think they've learned to carry the one at school but Rowan does it and he said his teacher liked that he could do it. Maybe I'll give in and let him learn a little division...

Looseyfur said...

There are definitely worse things you could give in to. :-)

~rachel~ said...

No clubs at our school. I think he's fine with what he does at home and since its almost always him initiating it I know he enjoys it. He uses the measuring tape too. He's even " teaching" Silas numbers. When he was leaving for school one day he told me to work on the numbers with him, uh yeah sure I will ;)

Debra Crabtree said...

Butting in... K is great at math too and I pretty much approach it like Loosey does. We just do math in every day life and if he is interested in it, I let him learn it. You can't learn TOO much... ever. We do have lots of conversations about expressing himself and being polite in school when he is bored though. He also reads whatever he wants to read (you know, as long as the ideas are not way over his emotional abilities) and he loves electronics and physics. More power to all these math stars!